Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Why does the New York Academy of Sciences falsely call the chairman of the IPCC a Nobel laureate?
My latest book, Into the Dustbin, steps back and surveys the winning of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
That Prize was co-awarded. The IPCC – an organization – won half of it. Al Gore – an individual – won the other half.
A significant amount of money is associated with this award. In 2007, it totaled 10 million Swedish krona – which converts to 1.5 million in today’s US dollars. Al Gore received half of that prize money. The IPCC received the other half, which it used to fund scholarships.
Rajendra Pachauri didn’t pocket a single cent. Which means he, himself, won zip. The mere fact that he delivered an acceptance speech on behalf of his organization at the Nobel ceremony did not magically transform him, personally, into a Nobel laureate.
So here’s the big mystery. Why have a thousand false flowers bloomed? Why have so many reputable individuals and organizations nevertheless described Pachauri as a Peace Prize winner?
Exhibit #1 is the Autumn 2009 edition of the New York Academy of Sciences magazine. The entire cover, above, is a stylized representation of Pachauri’s face. According to that cover, Pachauri is a “nobelist.”
Inside, on page 14, the accompanying story is titled In Green Company. The subtitle begins this way:
Nobel Laureate and Academy Governor R.K. Pachauri says…
Compared to complicated scientific questions, this is a straightforward matter. There’s nothing difficult about it.
Why did a science academy get this so wrong?
The entire issue of the magazine is backed up here